WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- Shoppers were stunned to learn that two hawks soaring over the Broadway Plaza Shopping Center in Walnut Creek are actually there to chase away pigeons.
Their job is to scatter the pigeons.
In a concrete canyon between Nordstrom and Macys, a hawk named TK rules the roost.
This Harris's hawk is more at home in the deserts of Arizona, but in Walnut Creek the hawk stalks pigeons. "The pigeons are smart. They get used to fake owls or spikes very quickly and what you use doesn't work anymore. The pigeons will never get used to a live wild raptor flying around," Hawk Pros spokesperson Bridget Maguire-Colton said.
They eat quail not pigeons, so they're really good at their job because it's hard to even spot a pigeon anywhere in the shopping center.
"This is the first time we're using a hawk in northern California as part of our bird abatement and exclusion program," ISOTECH manager Steve McHenry said.
Even some shoppers are at first intimidated by these hawk professionals.
TK is quite the charmer. Everyone likes to stop to admire the new shopping center hawks that have been on patrol for three months.
Other raptors like this are working in Northern California as bird deterrents at vineyards, luxury hotels and even at dumps to scare away the gulls.